Best quiet 140mm case fans?

MavericK

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See title - looking to find out what the best 140mm case fans are these days. I have a couple of Corsair AF ones but they seem like they are starting to buzz or something, quite annoying. I've been out of the fan game for awhile so I'm not sure what is good these days. Not looking to spend a ton of money, maybe in the range of ~$15-20 per fan?

I looked through the last few pages of the subforum and didn't see anything jump out at me, so any advice would be appreciated!
 

FnordMan

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There's no "best" fan, there are quite a few options out there for quiet fans though. Nocuta comes to mind as one I like though that's right about at the top of your price range for 140mm fans.
 

MavericK

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Well, it is subjective of course. Just wondering what folks around here prefer.

Is it any Noctua or a specific model?

Are Cougars any good? I see them around a bit.
 

KazeoHin

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Well, it is subjective of course. Just wondering what folks around here prefer.

Is it any Noctua or a specific model?

Are Cougars any good? I see them around a bit.
I have yet to try out cougar fans, but I do sell them and have had no complaints. That said, it is common knowledge in the cooling community that Noctua are second to none.
 

MavericK

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Thanks for the replies. I will probably pick up a couple of Noctuas and maybe a Cougar just to try it out.

I read a post somewhere that Noctuas make some sort of a noise when mounted horizontally (like on the side of a case). True, or just someone getting a bad fan?
 

Krenum

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I read a post somewhere that Noctuas make some sort of a noise when mounted horizontally (like on the side of a case). True, or just someone getting a bad fan?
I have one mounted Horizontally in my CMM5, Quiet as a church mouse. Probably just a bad one the guy got.
 

DrLobotomy

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I have a Noctua 120 on my CPU cooler after the stock one died. They are nice and quiet but a little pricey.
 

Quix

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I have a bunch of Noctua fans ranging from a few years old to about 8 years old, all of them work just as well as they did when they were new. They're very well made and made of high quality plastic, unlike most fans (some of Corsair's fans are good too). But what they're best for is moving reasonable amounts of air while being really quiet. I have them installed for horizontally and vertically, neither is an issue.
 

Stereodude

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See title - looking to find out what the best 140mm case fans are these days.
Best at what? Are you pulling air through a filter or some other sort of restriction? Do you need PWM control?

I've been trying to find high airflow and quiet 140mm case fans myself for my HTPC in a Corsair 600Q. I'm planning to test and compare 140mm BeQuiet Silent Wings 2, 140mm Prolimatech Blue Vortex, Noctua NF-P14s redux-1200 PWM, Thermalright TY-147A, Noctua NF-A14 PWM fans.

Edit: Also picked up a new 140mm BeQuiet Silent Wings 3 PWM.
 
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MavericK

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Mostly just for case fan use - PWM control a plus but not necessary.

I ended up buying a couple of Noctua PWMs (which are awesome BTW) and a Cougar to try.

One odd thing I noticed is that when I put a fan horizontally on the side of my spare machine case (Fractal R3 I believe), it makes a weird buzzing noise that intensifies with speed. This occurred both with a Corsair AF140 and the brand-new Cougar, even with the rubber mounting tabs rather than screws. Anyone experience anything like this before?
 

Stereodude

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Is something in the case rattling? The fans don't make the same noise in free air do they?
 

arestavo

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Mostly just for case fan use - PWM control a plus but not necessary.

I ended up buying a couple of Noctua PWMs (which are awesome BTW) and a Cougar to try.

One odd thing I noticed is that when I put a fan horizontally on the side of my spare machine case (Fractal R3 I believe), it makes a weird buzzing noise that intensifies with speed. This occurred both with a Corsair AF140 and the brand-new Cougar, even with the rubber mounting tabs rather than screws. Anyone experience anything like this before?
Yeah, both my 140mm noiseblocker eLoops and, when I had them, my old 120mm noiseblocker eLoops buzzed when set up as intake fans.

Move them out an inch or two and the buzzing stops. Change them to exhaust and no buzzing.

It has to be cavitation creating the buzzing.
 

MavericK

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Yeah I wondered if it might be an issue with intake on that side panel. Thanks for the confirmation.

So that brings up a question - do you guys usually pull in from the top and blow out the side? Pulling cool air in onto the GPU seems like the best option and then exhausting out the top (heat rising and all), but it seems like intake from the side panel isn't great for a quiet setup.

Is something in the case rattling? The fans don't make the same noise in free air do they?
I don't believe so - I think it must be what arestavo describes.
 

Stereodude

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So that brings up a question - do you guys usually pull in from the top and blow out the side? Pulling cool air in onto the GPU seems like the best option and then exhausting out the top (heat rising and all), but it seems like intake from the side panel isn't great for a quiet setup.
Don't fight physics. Heat rises. Don't try to blow cold air down. I have an inverted ATX case (Corsair 600Q) so the graphics card doesn't heat the CPU. A front 140mm fan blows right across the graphics card pushing the heat out the back of the case.
 

MavericK

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Don't fight physics. Heat rises. Don't try to blow cold air down. I have an inverted ATX case (Corsair 600Q) so the graphics card doesn't heat the CPU. A front 140mm fan blows right across the graphics card pushing the heat out the back of the case.
Well, so as far as I can recall, the Fractal R3 has the following capability:

2x front 120mm
1x side 120/140mm
2x top 120/140mm
1x rear 120mm
1x bottom 120mm

The bottom one I believe is unusable due to the PSU being in the way, and the top rear one is unusable due to the CPU cooler being in the way (Corsair H75).

Currently have 2 intake in the front, one 140mm exhaust on the top, and one 140mm intake on the side. This is in addition to the CPU cooler on the back slot which is using 2x 120mm in push/pull.

If I switch the side to exhaust, it seems like I might have some pressure issues since there are only two intakes in the front and the top needs to be exhaust (right?).

How would you have this set up?
 

Stereodude

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Well, so as far as I can recall, the Fractal R3 has the following capability:

2x front 120mm
1x side 120/140mm
2x top 120/140mm
1x rear 120mm
1x bottom 120mm

The bottom one I believe is unusable due to the PSU being in the way, and the top rear one is unusable due to the CPU cooler being in the way (Corsair H75).

Currently have 2 intake in the front, one 140mm exhaust on the top, and one 140mm intake on the side. This is in addition to the CPU cooler on the back slot which is using 2x 120mm in push/pull.

If I switch the side to exhaust, it seems like I might have some pressure issues since there are only two intakes in the front and the top needs to be exhaust (right?).

How would you have this set up?
Well, you don't have to put a fan in every spot. You can leave some of them open. Are you having problems with the thermals of components in the case? I'd be tempted to put the 1 or 2 in the front, one in the top blowing out and leaving the rest open.
 

MavericK

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Well, you don't have to put a fan in every spot. You can leave some of them open. Are you having problems with the thermals of components in the case? I'd be tempted to put the 1 or 2 in the front, one in the top blowing out and leaving the rest open.
I can give that a shot. It's not running overly cool right now but I haven't noted any major thermal issues either so far so maybe the number of fans I have is unnecessary.
 

Stereodude

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Scythe Glide Stream 140mm x 25mm PWM Fan - 500 ~ 1300 RPM (SY1425HB12M-P) (120mm Fan Mount Holes)

GlideStream 140 PWM (SY1425HB12M-P) | Scythe, Inc.
Depending on the case 140mm fans with 120mm fan holes don't mount nicely. My Corsair 600Q is like this.

I can give that a shot. It's not running overly cool right now but I haven't noted any major thermal issues either so far so maybe the number of fans I have is unnecessary.
Well, what are you expecting and what are you getting?
 

MavericK

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Well, what are you expecting and what are you getting?
I think the idle temps are around 45-50C, though it has been hot lately so ambient temp might be part of it.

When I was using this rig before I seem to recall idle being like 10C lower.

This is on an i7 920 @ 3.8 Ghz, mind you.

I haven't tried swapping around the fans yet so I'll have to see how the temps change then.
 

aubsxc

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Well, it is subjective of course. Just wondering what folks around here prefer.

Is it any Noctua or a specific model?

Are Cougars any good? I see them around a bit.

I like the inexpensive Cougar 120mm fan 4-packs you can pick up for $6 or so per fan. Haven't tried any of their 140mm offerings yet, but going by my experience, those should be very good as well.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Noctua NF 14
Noctua NF-A14 PWM 140mm Case Fan - Newegg.com

They really are as good as people say they are. I wasn't convinced until I decked out my PC with them. I am now though. Best fans you can buy imo.

I agree. Noctuas are the best fans. For case fans get the regular consumer versions, for static pressure/radiators get the industrial pwm versions.

The only downside is the color scheme. (Well, and the price) They have to have the ugliest colors of any fan ever.
 

Stereodude

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I agree. Noctuas are the best fans. For case fans get the regular consumer versions, for static pressure/radiators get the industrial pwm versions.

The only downside is the color scheme. (Well, and the price) They have to have the ugliest colors of any fan ever.
The die hard quiet cooling crowd think the Redux 140mm version is better than the newer A model.

I found a Prolimatech Blue Vortex 140mm to be the best case fan for one of the spots in my HTPC blowing across the GPU. After adjusting each fan's RPM to the threshold of audibility it outperformed two different 140mm Noctua models, a BeQuiet Silent Wings 2, and Thermalright TY-147A. I'm waiting on a Silent Wings 3 to arrive to compare, but I'm not expecting any significant improvement over the Silent Wings 2.
 

doyll

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A little late, but better late than never.
Phanteks fans are quite good. All except the PH-F200SP. The others all do a very nice job.

I haven't used the Blue Votex 140mm but use lots of TY-14x and of course TY-147A fans/ They are my favorite fan when available and if they fit. I've modified many to be 140x140mm and even made adapter plates to use them on 125mm mounting holes (140mm fan holes)
 

MavericK

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I agree. Noctuas are the best fans. For case fans get the regular consumer versions, for static pressure/radiators get the industrial pwm versions.
By "industrial version" do you mean the black SSO2 bearing ones? Or something else?

I might get a couple of 120mm for my radiator.
 

doyll

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While Noctua are very good fans there are not 'the best', but one of the best. The industrial models are not near as quiet as the desert camo colored ones.

Probably the best radiator fans of all time are the Gentle Typhoon made by Nidec-servo. The 1850rpm and 2150rpm PWM models are probably the best all around chooses, but that does not mean variable voltage and/or lower rpm models are not just as good. It all depends on individual needs.
 

MavericK

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Yeah, I have a couple Gentle Typhoons on the i7 920 rig in push/pull, but they are not what I would call quiet.
 

doyll

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Yeah, I have a couple Gentle Typhoons on the i7 920 rig in push/pull, but they are not what I would call quiet.
Depends on what speed they are running. Performance is not RPM to noise level or RPM to airflow, but noise to airflow. RPM is an abstract figure while the sound level we hear at the airflow level that keeps component cool is physical, real. With few exceptions GTs move more air than other fans at same sound level. To clariify, here is Thermalbench graph of 7 fans. . NF-F12 IPPC 2000 makes more noise at same airflow than any of the rest. If we factor in margin of error for the slight difference in performance between 2 or 3 of the same fan and possible error in readings, the Blademaster, NF-F12 IPPC and QF-120 are still not as good as Gentle Typhoon and EK Vardar. While EK Vardar look to be good they have had some teething problems, just as new ML 120 are having, but as time goes by they may prove to be equal to GTs.


Another very good but not well known 120mm fan is the PH-F120MP. It is not as high rpm as most radiator fans, but very good.



Edit: Found this one of PH-F120MP, Gentle Typhoon EK Vardar and ML 120

 
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Zarathustra[H]

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Depends on what speed they are running. Performance is not RPM to noise level or RPM to airflow, but noise to airflow. RPM is an abstract figure while the sound level we hear at the airflow level that keeps component cool is physical, real. With few exceptions GTs move more air than other fans at same sound level. To clariify, here is Thermalbench graph of 7 fans. . NF-F12 IPPC 2000 makes more noise at same airflow than any of the rest. If we factor in margin of error for the slight difference in performance between 2 or 3 of the same fan and possible error in readings, the Blademaster, NF-F12 IPPC and QF-120 are still not as good as Gentle Typhoon and EK Vardar. While EK Vardar look to be good they have had some teething problems, just as new ML 120 are having, but as time goes by they may prove to be equal to GTs.


Another very good but not well known 120mm fan is the PH-F120MP. It is not as high rpm as most radiator fans, but very good.



Edit: Found this one of PH-F120MP, Gentle Typhoon EK Vardar and ML 120

Let's keep in mind that this was a question about 140mm fans though.


The picture is very different in 140mm. There are plenty of decent 120mm fans with high enough static pressure to push air through radiators. That Number absolutely plummets as you move to 140mm.

I wound up with the 140mm industrial Noctua's because they were the only PWM controllable fans I found able to slow down enough to be quiet when at low speeds. I originally bought them to replace the 2 140mm fans that came with my Corsair h110i gtx. I thought their minimum speeds were too high.

There might be better 140mm options now though. I don't know. One thing to keep in mind though is that just because a 120mm version of a fan is great, doesn't mean that the same brand 140mm fan is.
 

arestavo

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Let's keep in mind that this was a question about 140mm fans though.


The picture is very different in 140mm. There are plenty of decent 120mm fans with high enough static pressure to push air through radiators. That Number absolutely plummets as you move to 140mm.

I wound up with the 140mm industrial Noctua's because they were the only PWM controllable fans I found able to slow down enough to be quiet when at low speeds. I originally bought them to replace the 2 140mm fans that came with my Corsair h110i gtx. I thought their minimum speeds were too high.

There might be better 140mm options now though. I don't know. One thing to keep in mind though is that just because a 120mm version of a fan is great, doesn't mean that the same brand 140mm fan is.

The Noisebocker eLoop 140mm non-PWMs that I've got in my main rig (see sig) are very quiet even at 100% and have excellent static pressure and CFM. Though they are rather pricey. The downside is that if you have one of them right next to a case's grill when it is set up as an intake, you'll get a buzzing noise. Probably cavitation causing the the fan blades to distort and buzz. Pull them away 1.5" or set them as exhaust and no buzzing. Though, if you don't have a grill and just a completely-open-to-the-outside fan space I'm sure it wouldn't buzz.
 

doyll

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Let's keep in mind that this was a question about 140mm fans though.


The picture is very different in 140mm. There are plenty of decent 120mm fans with high enough static pressure to push air through radiators. That Number absolutely plummets as you move to 140mm.

I wound up with the 140mm industrial Noctua's because they were the only PWM controllable fans I found able to slow down enough to be quiet when at low speeds. I originally bought them to replace the 2 140mm fans that came with my Corsair h110i gtx. I thought their minimum speeds were too high.

There might be better 140mm options now though. I don't know. One thing to keep in mind though is that just because a 120mm version of a fan is great, doesn't mean that the same brand 140mm fan is.
I guess you missed what Maverick posted in #17.

There are a good selection of good 140mm fans and have been for many years, but some are not as well know as many 120mm fans are.

I agree, 120mm and 140mm fans of same model line often do not perform similarly.

I much prefer 140mm fans myself. Thermalright TY-14x series fans are all quiet good. I was very partial to original TY-140 which became TY-147, then TY-17A. All but TY-140 are 300-1300rpm. The TY-143 is also very good. It will idle about 550rpm, is nice and quiet up to about 1300rpm (just like TY-147A) and if we need more flow will go all the way up to 2500rpm / 130cfm. Thermalright just released the TY-147A SQ and TY-143 SQ (square versions) a month or so ago.

And again, the NF-F14 IPPC 2000 is as good as some other top fans, but also more expensive.



Edit: Like arestrvo said, e-Loop are good.
 

Archmage

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I like quiet fans, and I've been wanting several new 140mm fans. Here is what my research turned up (most useful results were from www.ThermalBench.com ). The ranking is for performance / noise metric through a radiator. Results do not account for unit-to-unit variation, which may be an important consideration considering the small performance differences.

1. For 1200 RPM and lower, the NB eLoop B14-PS (PWM version) seems to be the best of the bunch. It supposedly does not have noticeable bearing noise. These are close to $30.

2. The EK Vardar F1 was not far behind, but may exhibit some of the ball-bearing noise tone that people often complain about with the Gentle Typhoons (though my 120mm Gentle Typhoons are great below 1300 RPM as long as no close-proximity grille / impedance is present). $20-$25...

3. The Corsair ML 140 was not far behind that, and obviously lacks the ball-bearing noise of the Vardar due to the magnetic levitation bearing. Neato. But I think the ML 120 may be more impressive, seemingly dethroning the Gentle Typhoon at 120mm.

2x ML 140's = $40.
 

doyll

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I basically agree with you. The difference is 2-3dB and 25-30FPM is really not much difference. Few people can hear a 2dB difference and and 25-30FPI is not much either, but the cost difference between say the PH-F140MP, TY-147A SQ and TY-143 SQ compared to ML 140

I really like Thermalbench testing and reviews. The sound to air speed is really nice because it is flow through a radiator so a resistance level similar or more than most fan applications and it's sound and flow that are important. RPM really means little. The sound the fan makes at the level of airflow we need to keep things cool is what I care about.

But like i've said before, the Gentle Typhoon for 120mm, TY-14x series fans and Phanteks fans are in the top of my list. Great performance and resonable cost. The slight differences we can see on paper between these top fans is so close that in application it's not noticeable. Sure, in a side by side test bench analysis I can see/hear slight differneces, but if I put together 3 computer with each setup with one of the models and set them in different rooms the differences become moot .. the the money difference adds up quickly.
 
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Stereodude

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If you want a case fan, the through the rad data doesn't seem like it's the best data set to be examining. I'd rather see the same sort of data running free air, or through a much less restrictive obstacle.
 

doyll

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A fan that works well on a radiator will do a much better job on an air cooler or as a case fan and a fan that only works well running in free air.

The only 'free air' use of fans I can think of is using tjem to circulate air around a room in hot weather. Case intake fans have a restrictive grill and usually a restrictive filter too. This creates restriction similar to a radiator so the resulting airflow and sound levels are much more realistic than free air or less restrictive testing.
 

Stereodude

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A fan that works well on a radiator will do a much better job on an air cooler or as a case fan and a fan that only works well running in free air.

The only 'free air' use of fans I can think of is using tjem to circulate air around a room in hot weather. Case intake fans have a restrictive grill and usually a restrictive filter too. This creates restriction similar to a radiator so the resulting airflow and sound levels are much more realistic than free air or less restrictive testing.
And you have data to back that up? None of the cases I've bought in the last 5 years have restrictive grills. Exhaust fans don't even have filters. A fan that works well on a radiator or heatsink generally have higher static pressure. I haven't seen a single shred of data that higher static pressure fans yield better thermals for components in a case when use as case fans at a given noise level.
 
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